Still charming but now 'wowing,' Uptown Theatre reopens

11:34 PM, Sep 15, 2012   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - The term, what's old is new, has never been truer than at the corner of Lagoon and Hennepin in Minneapolis.

The old Uptown Theatre looks like it always has, but once you step in the door; six months of renovations take over your senses.

"It had its charm, but it was long overdue for renovations," Uptown's Asst. General Manager Rich Gill explained.

You can see the hard work and the $2 million worth of investment.

"I don't even think I'm in Minnesota anymore. I feel like I'm in Manhattan," Kim Gustafson remarked.

Gustafson has seen several dozens of movies at the old Uptown Theatre with her friend Nancy Heck.

"I thought I was in Los Angeles. It's completely different," Heck responded.

David Braasch liked how the owners kept the outside the same while changing the interior.

"It's still got that awesome façade out front, so it's kind of the best of both worlds, I guess," he said.

Gone are the 900 seats that once occupied this space. They've been replaced with seating for about 350.

"Much more comfortable, no more springs poking out," Gill explained.

In the balcony there are comfy couches that movie goers can relax in.

"And the screen is 40 percent bigger," Gill remarked.

Opening night was a big success, the 7 and 10 p.m. shows of "Sleepwalk with Me" sold out two days in advance.

Ira Glass, the National Public Radio personality who co-produced the film, really liked the feel of the place, taking a particular liking to the upstairs bar.

"Why do these presidential candidates talk about these issues which don't mean anything to any of us? Why aren't they putting bars in movies theaters?" he joked.

There is new life inside the old Uptown Theatre.

"I was afraid it was going to close because it was so shabby," Heck mused.

"It's something that this part of town really needs. We need to keep the old theaters," Hannah Braasch concluded.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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